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PYXOUS later BUXENTUM (Policastro di S. Marina) Lucania, Italy.

A port at the mouth of the Bussento, the only good harbor other than Sapri on the Golfo di Policastro (sinus terinaeus). In the 6th c. B.C. when it first appears in history, Pyxous was apparently a dependency of Sybaris and issued coins of Sybarite type that also bear the name of Siris on the Gulf of Tarentum. It is possible that an overland route connected these cities. Pyxous may have collapsed after the fall of Sybaris in 510 B.C., for it is next heard of as a foundation of Mikythos, tyrant of Messine and Rhegion in 467. The majority of the colonists planted there is said by Strabo (6.253) to have soon departed, and we next hear of it as the site of a Roman colony of 300 families in 194 B.C. that had then to be reinforced with a second draft of colonists in 186 (Livy 32.29.4; 34.42.6; 34.45.2; 39.23.4). Though it seems never to have flourished, it is mentioned by geographers in the Imperial period, and inscriptions show that it had duovirs as magistrates and was inscribed in the tribus Pomptina.

All that is known of the ancient city is a stretch of Roman road recently excavated. The name Buxentum, which Strabo (6.253) says was also given to the cape, harbor, and river, refers to the abundance of box growing in the vicinity.


T. J. Dunbabin, The Western Greeks (1948); V. Panebianco, BdA 49 (1964) 364.


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    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 29.4
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